3-30-12: Legislative Lightning Round — Crossover Edition
General Assembly bills that didn’t pass one chamber by Monday are now mired in a Rules Committee. We’re giving supporters and opponents of several bills that did make it past Crossover Day 60 seconds each to make their case. If these bills get to a floor vote and pass, next stop is Governor O’Malley’s pen.
Legislative Lightning Round for Friday, March 30, 2012:
House Bill 439 passed 111 to 23 and has a Senate committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday. It would set up pilot programs to reduce disparities and the costs associated with them in “Health Enterprise Zones” to be determined by the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene.
- For: Del. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam (D – Baltimore County)
- Against: Del. Susan Krebs (R – Carroll County)
Senate Bill 678 would authorize courts to expunge some criminal charges when it transfers them to juvenile court.
- For: Sen. Jennie Forehand (D – Montgomery County)
- Against: We reached out to seven legislators for opposition to the bill, including all five who originally voted against it in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. A few of them declined, and the others did not get back to us.
Senate Bill 465 passed 42 to 4 and has a hearing scheduled Wednesday in a House committee. It would ban the possession, sale, or trading of certain shark fins and tails.
- For: Sen. Brian Frosh (D – Montgomery County)
- Against: Sen. Jim Mathias (D – Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties)
Senate Bill 892, a proposed Constitutional amendment, passed 35 to 11 and is now in the House. It would authorize the state to award another slots parlor in Prince George’s County, and authorize existing casinos to offer table games–if voters in the state and Prince George’s County approve in a referendum.
We reached out to the lead sponsor, Senator Douglas Peters (D – Prince George’s County), but didn’t hear back, and several co-sponsors were unavailable. Senator Peters did talk to Patricia Villone of Prince George’s Community Television about the bill in early February, telling her that he doesn’t support slots, but he felt “a duty to put it in front of voters.”
The Washington Post and the Washington Business Journal report that Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker wants a casino at National Harbor, south of Washington, but not at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington. Sen. Peters’s bill would authorize either location.
- Against: Del. Michael Smigiel (R – Caroline, Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne’s counties)
House Bill 314, the Voter’s Rights Protection Act of 2012, passed 95 to 40 and is under consideration in the Senate.
- For: Del. Jon Cardin (D – Baltimore County)
- Against: Del. Kathy Szeliga (R – Baltimore and Harford counties)
Some made it through Crossover Day…
- House Bill 167 would ban arsenic from being used in chicken feed.
- House Bill 481, cross filed with Senate Bill 407, would change the school board of Baltimore County from appointed to elected.
- House Bill 177 would require owners of ground rents to register them with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation.
…and some didn’t.
- House Bill 872, entitled the “Cremation Choice Act of 2012,” would allow new procedures to be used for cremation.
- House Bill 622, cross-filed with Senate Bill 60, would change the knowledgeable transmission of HIV from a misdemeanor to a felony.
- House Bill 201 would require schools to put the caloric values of food on school menus.
- Senate Bill 213 would prohibit minors from using tanning beds. Currently they can do so, but only with parental permission.
- House Bill 168 would keep landlords from discriminating against potential tenants on the basis of the source of their income.